Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates
VA Research Currents

Recent News

NIAID provides COVID-19 antiviral drug for VA’s Veteran patients

NIAID has provided more than 27,000 doses of the antiviral drug remdesivir to VA after a collaborative study on treatments for COVID-19, which will be used to treat Veterans with COVID-19.... (03/07/2023)

Traumatic brain injury carries risk for cardiovascular disease in post-9/11 Veterans

Post-9/11 Veterans with TBI have a greater risk for cardiovascular disease than peers, found a VA/DOD study.... (01/24/2023)

VA study reveals dementia risks unique to people with African ancestry

In the largest-ever genetic study of dementia in people of African ancestry, VA researchers identified several genetic risks different from those seen in people of European ancestry.... (12/22/2022)

Head trauma, PTSD may increase genetic variant's impact on Alzheimer's risk

VA-led research has found that PTSD, TBI, and a genetic variant have strong ties to Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Veterans.... (12/22/2022)

VA's new "burden-free" study method finds two blood pressure drugs equally effective

A large VA clinical trial found that the blood pressure drug chlorthalidone (CTD) was not superior to hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or non-cancer death.... (12/15/2022)

Increase in male hormone testosterone helps improve body composition, even in men with low testosterone levels

A study finds that an increase in the male hormone testosterone helps to improve body composition, even in men with testosterone levels near the lower end of normal.... (10/13/2022)

White House releases blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights

VA's National Artificial Intelligence Institute leads the way in safeguarding Veterans' health care data and privacy.... (10/06/2022)

Primary Blast Injury of the Brain

To better care for people with TBI, a joint VA/DOD effort created a new ICD-10 code for primary blast injury of the brain.... (10/03/2022)

VA-led research finds PET scans important for ruling out Alzheimer's disease

VA-led research has found that a form of brain imaging—the amyloid PET scan—is important for ruling out Alzheimer's disease, one of the most common forms of dementia. ... (09/26/2022)

At-home brain stimulation and talk therapy show promise treating chronic pain and PTSD

VA researchers have shown that an entirely home-based transcranial stimulation treatment for chronic pain is feasible and could help Veterans with co-occurring pain and PTSD.... (09/26/2022)

Growing Rural Outreach through Veteran Engagement

Members at the GROVE center assist VA researchers who seek to engage rural Veterans in their studies.... (09/13/2022)

Innovative psychotherapy eases headache symptoms for Veterans with brain injuries

A new type of psychotherapy shows promise in easing headache symptoms in Veterans with mild traumatic brain injuries.... (08/24/2022)

Genes involved in heart disease are similar across all populations, VA study finds

The genes involved in coronary heart disease, the most common form of heart disease, appear to be nearly the same for everyone, according to a VA study. ... (08/03/2022)

Veterans with PTSD subtype show brain disruptions and more chronic PTSD

Veterans with a PTSD subtype characterized by executive function impairments had more chronic PTSD over time and disrupted brain connectivity, found a VA study.... (07/28/2022)

Study outlines guidance for treating cancer patients who show a problematic pattern of opioid use

A new study has outlined much-needed guidance for treating cancer patients who experience a problematic pattern of opioid use.... (07/26/2022)

Genetic testing may benefit patients with depression

A new VA study finds that pharmacogenomic testing can help providers avoid prescribing medications that may have undesirable outcomes.... (07/12/2022)

MVP study offers new insights on genetic risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

A VA Million Veteran Program study identified 77 locations on the human genome that affect risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.... (07/06/2022)

An Accidental AI Professional

Presidential innovation fellow Agata Ciesielski has worked to develop strategies to promote AI solutions across the VA enterprise.... (07/01/2022)

VA ear surgeon studies management of severe hearing loss in Veterans

A VA researcher and ear surgeon in NY Harbor is studying the management of severe hearing loss in Veterans.... (07/01/2022)

Exercise may be useful treatment option for Veterans with PTSD

Based on preliminary evidence, researchers determined that exercise has promise for reducing the severity of PTSD symptoms in Veterans.... (06/28/2022)

Veteran disability payments led to fewer hospitalizations

Increasing disability payments led to fewer hospitalizations for Vietnam Veterans with diabetes, but did not lower death rates.... (06/22/2022)

Air Force Veteran among 10 new awardees in VA diversity, equity, and inclusion research program

VA's Office of Research and Development has issued 10 new research awards to support early career investigators from minority backgrounds.... (06/13/2022)

Height may be risk factor for multiple health conditions

A large genetic study by the VA Million Veteran Program has found that a person's height may also affect their risk for several common health conditions in adulthood.... (06/02/2022)

VA researcher leads project to evaluate Veteran screening for malnutrition

A research dietitian is leading a project at the Phoenix VA to evaluate the malnutrition screening of Veterans admitted to the hospital.... (05/23/2022)

Mapping out the human genome

A VA program that sequences Veterans' genomes is collaborating with an NIH initiative to advance genetic discoveries for Veterans.... (05/19/2022)

VA Launches Scott Hannon Initiative for Precision Mental Health

VA's Office of Mental Health has launched a new initiative to identify brain biomarkers in Veterans.... (05/17/2022)

Self-reliance may affect acceptance of mental health treatment in Veterans

Veterans with anxiety or depression were less likely to use mental health care if they also had high levels of grit, found a VA study.... (05/02/2022)

Study: economic burden of PTSD 'staggering'

A new study finds that the national economic burden of PTSD exceeds the financial cost of other common mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.... (04/25/2022)

Cultivating the Cancer-Fighting Power of Neoantigens

Select proteins called neoantigens can activate the immune system to help destroy cancer.... (04/22/2022)

Black Veterans receive equal, or superior, lung cancer care in VA

Black Veterans with lung cancer receive comparable care, with equivalent, if not superior, treatment outcomes as white Veterans at VA.... (04/22/2022)

Screening for thoughts of suicide can identify missed chances to save lives, VA study says

A VA case review showed missed opportunities to screen a patient for thoughts of suicide in multiple visits to the emergency department.... (04/11/2022)

Advancing the science of transplantation

Early VA research uncovered knowledge that proved vital to transplanting a pig's heart into a human in a groundbreaking operation earlier this year... (03/24/2022)

Study finds ongoing mental health concerns for Vietnam Veterans

A data analysis finds that Veterans who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War have a higher rate of mental health issues, compared with other Vietnam-era Veterans and non-Veterans.... (03/17/2022)

Open mic

Veterans are broadcasting their stories on a new VA podcast that emphasizes the importance of research to improve the lives of former service members.... (03/01/2022)

Help beyond housing

A VA program is helping homeless and recently housed Veterans flourish in their neighborhoods by supporting them in finding work and maintaining contact with family members.... (02/22/2022)

VA research spells out COVID's down-the-road risks for cardiovascular and mental health

In two studies, a team of VA researchers concluded that those infected with COVID-19 may experience long-term cardiovascular and mental health effects.... (02/16/2022)

Research roundup: E-cigs aren't safe

A VA researcher and colleagues summarized the evidence on the health dangers of vaping—including findings from some of their own work—in a recent review article. ... (02/15/2022)

Photos shed light on food insecurity in post 9/11 Veterans

Photographs taken by Veterans can help researchers and community organizations understand the factors that underlie food insecurity.... (02/14/2022)

Teasing out the effects of blasts on mental health

A new VA study finds that blast exposure is related to mental health symptoms in combat Veterans beyond the effects of mild traumatic brain injury or PTSD.... (02/08/2022)

It's just a phage

A review article authored by VA researchers says viruses that target bacteria are showing promise as a treatment for some intestinal diseases.... (02/08/2022)

Hospice benefits ill Veterans

Families report satisfaction with end-of-life care for Veterans enrolled in home-based primary care and hospice, finds VA study. ... (02/07/2022)

Is active surveillance the answer?

A VA physician has become a strong advocate of active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer patients as an option to surgery or radiation.... (02/04/2022)

Tackling an epidemic

A VA researcher and former White House policy advisor is leading a panel that is recommending solutions to the opioid crisis.... (02/03/2022)

VA researcher aims to help survivors of military sexual trauma with PTSD

A VA study finds trauma-sensitive yoga is an effective therapy for women Veterans who developed PTSD following military sexual trauma.... (01/24/2022)

Prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy?

A landmark study comparing VA's two leading psychotherapies confirmed that they both lead to meaningful improvements for Veterans with PTSD.... (01/19/2022)

Lab studies seek hormone-based obesity treatment

Researchers say the findings from a new study could potentially lead to a safe, effective treatment for the problem of obesity, which affects some 4 in 10 Americans.... (01/18/2022)

VA clinicians testing new radioactive tracer drug to track prostate cancer in the body

VA researchers at the Truman VA in Missouri are testing a new radioactive tracer drug for its ability to show whether and where prostate cancer has spread in the body.... (01/12/2022)

Telehealth plus web-based skills training a promising combination for Veterans with PTSD, military sexual trauma

A VA study says a combination of telehealth coaching and web-based skills training can improve outcomes for Veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma.... (01/07/2022)

VA and COVID therapeutics

Experts from VA's Office of Research and Development discuss VA's role in studying drugs and other therapies needed to treat patients with COVID-19.... (01/03/2022)

Can medication ease insomnia in Veterans with PTSD?

A VA study will compare three drugs for their ability to treat Veterans with PTSD who have insomnia, one of the hardest-to-treat symptoms for patients with PTSD.... (12/17/2021)

Study finds strong tie between sexual trauma, suicidal thoughts in Veterans with no history of mental health care

A study finds that military sexual trauma is linked to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts in Veterans without a mental health treatment history.... (12/17/2021)

Which COVID-19 vaccine works better?

Researchers have carried out the first head-to-head effectiveness comparison of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that protect against COVID-19.... (12/01/2021)

Grape juice may have the potential to improve cognitive performance in Gulf War Veterans

A VA study finds that Concord grape juice contains ingredients that may have the potential to improve cognitive performance in Veterans with Gulf War illness.... (11/24/2021)

Study links statin use with diabetes progression, points to need for further research

A VA study has documented a link between cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and diabetes progression.... (11/18/2021)

Computers ‘learn’ to support high-stakes decisions during heart surgery

VA experts in artificial intelligence are teaching computers to think like "perfusionists"—staff who work heart-lung machines during surgery.... (11/18/2021)

VA to lead new national initiative to improve effectiveness of pre-clinical brain research

A new VA-led initiative on traumatic brain injury is aimed at better advancing pre-clinical TBI research in hopes of creating new therapies.... (11/18/2021)

‘They are hand in glove’

Michael Kilmer, the director of VA Eastern Colorado, lives by the motto that good clinical work supports good research, and good research supports good clinical work.... (11/18/2021)

Filtering out COVID-19

DOD and VA researchers are testing a new device that filters out pathogens from the blood of COVID-19 patients.... (10/26/2021)

Researchers home in on biochemical link between brain injury, Alzheimer's disease

VA researchers have discovered an approach that could prevent nerve cells in the brain from deteriorating after a traumatic brain injury.... (10/21/2021)

VA joins alliance to boost access to ‘decentralized’ clinical trials

VA has joined a nonprofit alliance that is aimed at increasing access to clinical trials through telemedicine, home delivery of study medications, and other methods.... (10/14/2021)

Brain images of healthy middle-aged adults aid in predicting progression of early memory loss

A study shows that brain images of cognitively normal adults in their 50s can help in predicting mild cognitive impairment, a possible precursor to Alzheimer's disease.... (10/12/2021)

Study: Smoking increases risk of death for Veterans with COVID-19

A VA study highlights the importance of assessing for tobacco use among COVID-19-positive patients and recognizes smoking as a risk factor for increased mortality. ... (10/06/2021)

VA study: Moderate alcohol use linked to lower rates of hospitalization, death

A study finds that hospitalization or death from any cause was higher in older Veterans who were nondrinkers or "harmful use" drinkers, compared with moderate drinkers.... (10/06/2021)

VA doctors seek to harness artificial intelligence to target care for sicker Veterans

VA researchers are using artificial intelligence to identify Veterans at high risk of hospitalization or death. This approach can help ensure these Veterans get the best care possible.... (09/21/2021)

VA researchers link PTSD, anxiety fears in women with history of military sexual trauma

A new VA study finds a strong link between PTSD symptom severity and anxiety sensitivity among female Veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma.... (09/21/2021)

VA researchers' guidelines on electronic health records adopted into Medicare policy

VA researchers have developed guides to promote safe use of electronic health records. The guides are part of a new federal policy on Medicare reimbursement to hospitals.... (09/14/2021)

VA grants first diversity, equity, and inclusion research awards

VA supports early career investigators from minority backgrounds through new research awards.... (09/10/2021)

U.S. pullout from Afghanistan

Dr. Joseph Geraci, a VA psychologist, discusses the potential mental and social challenges that may surface for some Veterans following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.... (08/30/2021)

Emotion-based psychotherapy a promising treatment for women with PTSD, eating disorders

A study exploring how PTSD may impact treatment outcomes for women with eating disorders suggests an emotion-based psychotherapy is a promising treatment for patients with or without PTSD.... (08/30/2021)

MVP study shows effectiveness of genetic screening tool for breast cancer risk

A new tool could accurately predict breast cancer risk in some women Veterans.... (08/26/2021)

Battlefield acupuncture

VA researchers are studying "battlefield acupuncture," in which needles are placed on specific points on each ear, as an option for pain relief alongside conventional medications.... (08/26/2021)

VA researcher exploring meditation as a therapy for PTSD

Dr. Ariel Lang, a psychologist at VA San Diego, is exploring five types of meditative practices for their potential to ease PTSD symptoms in Veterans.... (08/25/2021)

Hep C-positive organs, safe and effective for most transplant recipients

Organs that carry the hepatitis C virus are a safe option for patients, finds VA Houston study.... (08/12/2021)

VA in new research agreement with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

VA is joining forces with another federal agency, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to expand research on infectious diseases and related topics.... (07/29/2021)

New scanning technology could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease using light

VA researchers developed technology to scan the brain for Alzheimer's disease using light.... (07/28/2021)

One-two punch helps Veterans with weight loss

VA is investigating the effectiveness of weight-loss strategies like dietary changes and medication.... (07/23/2021)

Study yields insight on factors predicting response to PTSD treatments

A VA study on PTSD treatment yielded a surprising finding: Longer time periods between trauma and treatment were associated with bigger improvements in symptoms.... (07/22/2021)

COVID-19 testing

VA researchers are evaluating 3D-printed nasal swabs to guard against future supply chain declines in traditional swabs.... (07/12/2021)

Sailing as a therapy?

A VA psychiatrist is experimenting with sailing, hiking, interaction with horses, and other recreational activities to help Veterans with mental health conditions and substance use disorder.... (07/09/2021)

Study reports on experiences of LGB Vietnam-era Veterans

A new analysis of data from the Vietnam era found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual Veterans who served at the time are reporting PTSD and poorer mental health more often than their heterosexual counterparts. ... (07/08/2021)

‘STARPORT’ trial probes new approach for aggressive prostate cancer

A new VA study is examining an innovative treatment approach for men whose prostate cancer has spread to distant areas despite surgery or radiation.... (07/06/2021)

New VA tool uses artificial intelligence to predict COVID-19 patient mortality

A new VA tool that processes data using artificial intelligence can predict mortality rates within 120 days of when a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19. The tool is being piloted at 13 VA sites.... (06/28/2021)

For VA’s Brandy Wade, making science straightforward is a mission and passion

Brandy Wade of VA's Technology Transfer Program is adept at translating complex scientific concepts into understandable messages for various audiences.... (06/22/2021)

VA researchers use novel approach to gain insight into suicide risk factors

Using an emerging approach in mental health research called network theory, VA researchers gain insight into factors that cause a person to consider dying by suicide.... (06/11/2021)

Genetic testing—the new standard in treatment for advanced prostate cancer

Two VA clinicians explain how Veterans with advanced, or metastatic, prostate cancer can be helped through genetic testing and precision oncology.... (06/11/2021)

From concept to reality

A new VA program is providing education and mentoring for researchers trying to bring their innovations to market.... (06/01/2021)

Genetic risk factors revealed by largest genome study of depression to date

In the largest genetic analysis of depression to date, VA researchers identified many new gene variants that increase the risk for depression.... (05/27/2021)

Amid shortage of face masks, researchers explore 3D options to guard against COVID-19, other infectious diseases

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a high demand for respiratory protection among health care workers in hospitals. VA researchers experimented with 3D-printed masks as a substitute for the widely used N95s.... (05/27/2021)

Can statins help 75-and-overs stay healthy? PREVENTABLE trial will provide answers

Most research on statins—drugs used by many Americans to lower cholesterol—has focused on middle-aged people. Now, a major statin study focused on older people is underway.... (05/11/2021)

Wrist-worn sensor test can predict frailty and functional mobility

A simple test with a wrist-worn sensor can easily assess frailty and mobility in surgery patients, found a recent study. The test could help predict the risk of surgery in patients with mobility limitations. ... (04/28/2021)

VA hospital improvises with new device to prevent in-patient suicides

A block has been installed on all of the bathroom doors in patient rooms in the mental health unit at VA Pittsburgh to prevent someone from using a rope, a sheet, or any other item to carry out a hanging.... (04/27/2021)

VA program using special DNA chip to expand genetic research on minorities

VA's Million Veteran Program has launched a custom-designed DNA chip to expand genetic research leading to targeted treatments for Black and Hispanic Veterans and other racial and ethnic minorities.... (04/26/2021)

VA engineering research center posts another invention: prosthetic hook mouse

The Human Engineering Research Laboratories, which designs and creates wheelchairs, prostheses, and other assistive devices, has another achievement to its name: a prosthetic hook mouse for people with upper-limb amputations.... (04/26/2021)

COVID-19 ‘long-haulers’ face increased risk of death and many other health problems

A large VA study shows that people who have had COVID-19 are at heightened risk of both death and many health problems.... (04/26/2021)

Homeless Veterans largely satisfied with community health care options

Homeless Veterans value the option to receive health care in the community, found VA study, but coordination challenges exist.... (04/16/2021)

New Brain Proteins Suspected of Causing Depression

Using an innovative protein-based approach, VA researchers and their academic colleagues have found genes and corresponding proteins that could point the way to new depression treatments.... (04/12/2021)

Using genetics, researchers identify potential drugs for early treatment of COVID-19

A new study using genetics suggests researchers should prioritize clinical trials of existing drugs that target two proteins to manage COVID-19 in its early stages.... (04/09/2021)

VA telehealth clinic focused on cognitive issues helps Veterans in rural areas

A VA neuropsychologist has led a study on patient satisfaction with a telehealth clinic that serves older Veterans with cognitive aging concerns, mainly those related to Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia.... (04/09/2021)

VA genetics program aims to increase mental health treatments for Veterans

VA's Million Veteran Program, one of the world's largest databases of health and genetic information, plans to survey 50,000 new participants with mental health conditions in hopes of finding better treatments for that cohort.... (04/09/2021)

Study sheds light on interplay among PTSD, combat experience, alcohol use

A new VA study finds that combat experience is linked to a higher risk of alcohol use to cope with PTSD symptoms. But the connection is weaker when accounting for the severity of the PTSD.... (04/01/2021)

Study finds few racial differences in community activity for Veterans with TBI

Researchers with VA, DOD, and other research institutions examined the effects of race and ethnicity on community participation in service members and Veterans with traumatic brain injury.... (04/01/2021)

VA clinical trial examines optimal treatment for Veterans with early stage lung cancer

VA is evaluating two different types of treatment for stage 1 lung cancer—surgery vs. radiation therapy.... (03/30/2021)

Review: For many men with prostate cancer, surgery risks outweigh potential benefits

A VA review found that "watchful waiting" or prostate specific antigen (PSA) monitoring may be the best approach for many men with prostate cancer.... (03/23/2021)

Deep freeze

A VA research facility in Albuquerque is storing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in an ultra-cold freezer system for use by Native Americans in four Southwestern states.... (03/11/2021)

Targeting the tumor

In the framework of VA’s Precision Oncology Program, an Army Veteran with aggressive prostate cancer is seeing promising results from an immunotherapy drug targeted to his tumor’s gene profile. ... (02/25/2021)

MVP study reveals new markers of genetic risk for PTSD

A large VA Million Veteran Program study found new genetic markers for posttraumatic stress disorder risk.... (02/24/2021)

Lines of communication

A new VA program has changed how the agency informs patients, the media, and hospital workers about unsafe clinical practices at VA health care facilities.... (02/17/2021)

Study: Delaying colonoscopy following abnormal stool test increases risk of colorectal cancer

A new VA study finds that delays in undergoing colonoscopy following an abnormal stool test increase the risk of a colorectal cancer diagnosis and cancer-related death. ... (02/02/2021)

A new way to prevent pressure injuries

Monitoring fat levels in gluteus muscles may help Veterans and others with SCI avoid painful pressure injuries.... (01/27/2021)

Study: PTSD raises suicide risk for those with prostate cancer

A new VA study finds that patients with prostate cancer and PTSD experienced greater suicide risk than those with prostate cancer and no PTSD. Learn more »... (01/26/2021)

Nanoparticle drug delivery technique shows promise for treating pancreatic cancer

VA researchers have designed a new way to deliver pancreatic cancer drugs that could make fighting the disease much easier.... (01/26/2021)

VA researcher tests condensed form of psychotherapy to treat PTSD patients

A VA leader in PTSD treatment, Dr. Sheila Rauch of the Atlanta VA, is testing a condensed form of the psychotherapy prolonged exposure to treat PTSD patients.... (01/19/2021)

Marine Veteran encourages others to sign up for registry

Marine Veteran John Gutierrez is willing to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial so in the end other people will not contract the virus and struggle with it like he has.... (01/13/2021)

VA official encourages minorities to make educated decisions about participating in COVID-19 trials

Dr. Sabrina Clark, an African American, is distinguishing her willingness to be part of the COVID-19 research volunteer list from her willingness to volunteer for a study.... (01/07/2021)

Study of post-mortem brain tissue yields new insights on PTSD

A rigorous study examining post-mortem brain tissue from those with PTSD has identified molecular changes in the brain that may lead to new ways to diagnose and treat the disorder.... (01/06/2021)

Former Navy Surgeon General wants Veterans to know that vaccines are safe and effective for most

Dr. Adam Robinson knows that equal representation in clinical trials is critically important. That's why he signed up to test new vaccines for COVID-19.... (01/05/2021)

Veteran determined to help 'win this war' against COVID-19

After deploying to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, Navy Veteran Lee Becker is eager to serve his country by supporting COVID-19 vaccine and treatment efforts.... (12/30/2020)

Continuing to serve: Army Veteran signs up for coronavirus research

Veteran Jeremy Wheeler knows how important service can be. He was inspired to sign up for VA's research volunteer list by his wife, who is a clinical scientist.... (12/28/2020)

Putting beliefs into action: fighting COVID-19

Veteran Michele Jones says she volunteered for VA research on COVID-19 to make sure that new vaccines will be effective for a diverse group of people.... (12/22/2020)

Researchers optimistic about ability of anti-inflammatory drug to treat COVID-19 patients

The FDA has approved rapid access to an anti-inflammatory drug that has shown promise in treating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.... (12/18/2020)

Ebola crisis helped prepare director of VA medical center for COVID-19 pandemic

The director of VA Greater Los Angeles, Dr. Steve Braverman, discusses what it's like during the COVID-19 era to lead a VA medical center with one of the largest research budgets.... (12/10/2020)

Genetic risk of alcohol-related cirrhosis uncovered

A large genetic study found a previously unknown human genome location linked to protection from alcohol-related liver damage. The study may help scientists understand how alcohol causes damage to the liver.... (12/10/2020)

COVID-19 vaccine trials: How safe is it to participate?

A health care expert in VA's Office of Research and Development speaks to VA Research Currents about the integrity and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine trials, which are enrolling participants at multiple VA sites.... (11/25/2020)

Alternative fuels

VA scientist is leading an ambitious project to provide continuous power to prostheses and implantable devices with blood sugar.... (11/17/2020)

AI Tech Sprint brings together private industry and innovation to benefit Veterans

VA is accepting applications for the 2020 AI tech sprint. Teams from private industry and government will work together to use AI-enabled data to solve VA's most pressing challenges.... (11/04/2020)

Brain trauma

New VA study finds that repetitive mild brain trauma causes a moderate loss of connection between nerve cells in an area of the brain that is key to memory and cognitive performance.... (10/30/2020)

Insomnia disorder common in post-9/11 Veterans

Post-9/11 Veterans have “alarmingly high rates” of insomnia disorder, according to a VA San Diego Healthcare System study.... (10/20/2020)

COVID-19 ‘collaboratory’ leverages VA treatment data to probe effects of drugs

A VA research initiative is bringing together VA experts to analyze the use and effects of COVID-19 drugs with clinical partners interested in the safety and efficiency of these therapies.... (10/16/2020)

Study: Brain stimulation improves condition of patients with Alzheimer's

A VA pilot study finds that a brain stimulation therapy provided to patients with Alzheimer's disease improved their state of apathy, a profound loss of motivation and initiative and a feeling of social withdrawal.... (10/14/2020)

Study points to race, ethnicity as COVID-19 risk factors

A VA study found that Black and Hispanic Veterans were twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19.... (09/23/2020)

Study: Different emotions may drive male, female Veterans to attempt suicide

A new VA study finds that a much different set of emotions may have driven male and female Veterans to attempt suicide.... (09/17/2020)

Researchers striving to improve detection of kidney disease in VA

Two VA researchers are leading efforts to implement in VA a test they believe to be much more accurate in detecting kidney disease than the one in standard practice for decades.... (09/17/2020)

Pilot study: Fecal transplant helps alcohol cravings

Fecal transplant therapy is safe and can reduce alcohol craving in patients with alcohol use disorder, found a VA study.... (09/10/2020)

VA researcher develops 'smart bandage' technology for chronic wounds

Researchers at the Advanced Platform Technology Center have developed a high-tech bandage that uses electrical stimulation to treat pressure injuries.... (09/09/2020)

VA aims to validate effective treatments for COVID-19 patients through new initiative

New VA initiative is aimed at giving Veterans faster access to COVID-19 treatments and confirming their effectiveness. Its first trial is on convalescent plasma for treating seriously ill patients.... (09/02/2020)

Does smoking block potential benefits from stem cell therapy?

Scientists at VA Palo Alto are studying whether smoking may detract from the potential therapeutic effects of stem cells in the body. ... (09/01/2020)

VA health economist and team strive to make agency more efficient, effective

A VA health economics research program in Boston provides rigorous data analysis to support agency policy, planning, and evaluation.... (08/13/2020)

Survey data show Vets, on the whole, have good experiences with both VA and VA-purchased community care

Survey data from more than 1 million Veterans showed that overall, they reported positive experiences with both VA care and VA-purchased care in the community.... (08/04/2020)

Study: Veterans with PTSD more likely to have justice-system involvement than those without

A new study finds that Veterans with PTSD—compared to those without—are about 60% more likely to have justice-system involvement.... (08/04/2020)

Study offers insight on how PTSD affects response to depression treatment

An analysis of a large VA study on depression showed that patients with or without PTSD had similar relative responses to medication changes.... (08/04/2020)

VA participates in COVID-19 trial on drug used to curb inflammation

The VA hospitals in Houston and Miami are part of an international clinical trial on the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab. The trial is for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia.... (07/27/2020)

VA works to raise awareness for lung cancer screening in Veterans

VA has partnered with the GO2 Foundation to increase awareness about lung cancer screening and to improve outcomes for Veterans affected by lung cancer.... (07/17/2020)

Meditation linked to lower cardiovascular risk

Meditation was linked to lower cardiovascular risk in a large database study that looked at data on more than 61,000 survey participants.... (07/10/2020)

Study: Men with HIV at greater risk of abnormal lung function

A new study finds a greater risk for impaired lung function among men with HIV, compared with men without HIV.... (07/10/2020)

VA technology center switches gears to produce COVID-19 medical supplies

The Human Engineering Research Laboratories is one of several large VA facilities that have switched gears to make medical supplies that help meet the demand triggered by the COVID-19 health crisis.... (07/08/2020)

Veterans helping to plan, shape research projects

Engaging Veterans in planning and shaping VA research studies has gained momentum in recent years. At the center of the movement are Veteran engagement groups.... (07/07/2020)

Study: Patient data can predict life expectancy for older adults with diabetes

A new study finds that clinicians can use patient data, such as a history of co-occurring health conditions and medication, to predict the 5- and 10-year life expectancy of older people with diabetes.... (06/19/2020)

Study finds VA does good job of preventing adverse events for chemotherapy patients

Patients receiving chemotherapy through VA were less likely to experience potentially avoidable hospitalizations than those getting Medicare-paid chemotherapy, found a study by VA Palo Alto researchers.... (06/17/2020)

Women Veterans Day

Women Veterans Day, June 12, is an appropriate time to recognize the role of women in VA's Million Veteran Program. More than 830,000 Vets are now enrolled in MVP, of which 80,000 are women.... (06/11/2020)

Lab study suggests way to stem long-term damage after brain injury

A VA lab study has shed new light on how repeated traumatic brain injury affects the brain, and suggests a treatment approach that could stem long-term damage.... (06/11/2020)

VA scientists testing new technology to absorb moisture, increase comfort with prostheses

Researchers at the APT Center are developing a material to better absorb and channel the sweat that can build up inside the socket liner of a prosthesis.... (06/11/2020)

VA pharmacist donates blood plasma as part of efforts to find treatment for COVID-19

Dr. Parisa Khan, a VA pharmacist and recovered COVID-19 patient, donated her convalescent plasma so it could be used as an investigational treatment for another patient struggling with the illness, as part of a nationwide program.... (06/02/2020)

Study points to race-based difference in prostate cancer progression

In a VA study, African American men whose biopsies showed low-risk cancer were more likely to have a higher grade or stage of cancer when they were later treated surgically, compared with white patients with similar histories.... (06/02/2020)

VA physician invents device to expand patient access to ventilators

A VA physician and his colleagues invented a device that allows doctors to customize air pressure settings for two patients using a single ventilator.... (06/02/2020)

VA scientists race to determine effectiveness of prostate cancer drug in treating COVID-19 patients

Nearly 200 Veterans are expected to take part in a study on the drug degarelix for treating male Veterans with the disease.... (05/22/2020)

Adaptive rock climbing has physical, psychological benefits for people with disabilities

A new study finds that indoor rock climbing appears to offer a "unique array" of physical, social, and psychological benefits for those with disabilities, including those with amputations, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury.... (05/11/2020)

VA Research works with industry, other partners to launch COVID-19 clinical trials

VA medical centers are involved in a number of clinical trials and other studies focused on COVID-19. VA's research office is also seeking to expand its role in COVID-19 trials.... (05/07/2020)

'I'm battling an encyclopedia'

VA researchers examined the beliefs and perceptions Veterans with diabetes hold about communicating with their physicians. Some complained their doctors use too much jargon.... (05/07/2020)

Review finds strong evidence on emerging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Biomarkers—measurable physical signs of a condition—could be a useful way of testing for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new review study by a VA team in Minneapolis.... (04/27/2020)

Exploring precision medicine for insomnia

In an interview with VA Research Currents, Dr. Elaine Boland, a VA research psychologist in Philadelphia, emphasizes the need for people with insomnia to receive treatments tailored to their needs.... (04/23/2020)

Brain organoids: Emerging method to study brain diseases

Brain organoids, made in the lab from cultured cells, are miniature replicas of areas of the human brain. Scientists are using them to model brain diseases.... (04/23/2020)

Can community engagement help Veterans at high risk of suicide?

A VA study aims to boost social connectedness among Veterans at high risk of suicide by getting them more involved in group activities such as music, tai chi, or fishing.... (04/22/2020)

PTSD, moral injury tied to pregnancy complications

Elevated symptoms of PTSD and moral injury can lead to pregnancy complications, found a VA study of women Veterans.... (04/14/2020)

VA, non-VA cardiac rehab provide similar benefits

VA and non-VA cardiac rehabilitation programs offer similar benefits, according to a new VA study, and "eligible patients with ischemic heart disease should participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs regardless of where they are provided," say the researchers.... (04/08/2020)

Environmental service workers are important element in infection control design

A study based at VA community living centers shows that environmental service workers have unique insights into infection control that could improve best practices. ... (04/08/2020)

Government often pays twice for Veterans' blocked-artery treatments

The federal government is losing millions of dollars by paying twice, in many cases, for Veterans' medical procedures, found a study by VA and University of Pennsylvania researchers.... (04/08/2020)

Study of nearly 2 million Veterans confirms links between weight and pain

In a database study of nearly 2 million Veterans with musculoskeletal disorders, heavier patients were more likely to report pain.... (03/31/2020)

VA's TRACTS program seeking breakthroughs on traumatic brain injury

VA Boston-based Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) has been working to increase understanding of the long-term impact of traumatic brain injury on the physical and mental health of post-9-11 Veterans... (03/31/2020)

Large study of Veterans confirms link between fried food, heart disease

A large study that included data on more than 150,000 volunteers in VA's Million Veteran Program finds that the risk of coronary artery disease—a form of heart disease—rises based on the rate of fried food consumptio... (03/30/2020)

Researchers take new approach to detect, treat eye disease that can lead to blindness

A VA pilot study has shown the benefits of a hand-held device to detect early-stage diabetic retinopathy and a neuroprotective drug to potentially reverse the symptoms.... (03/02/2020)

Amid virus concerns, study offers insight on use of respiratory gear in hospitals

A recent VA study offers insight on the use of respiratory protective gear by health care workers. Why do nurses and other staff sometimes fail to use the equipment when it's required, or vice versa?... (03/02/2020)

Study probes user satisfaction with upper-limb prostheses

A survey of more than 400 Veteran users of upper-limb prostheses found little difference in satisfaction among users of myoelectric, body-powered, and cosmetic devices. Overall rankings fell just shy of "satisfied."... (02/20/2020)

Study suggests a more accurate approach to diabetes diagnosis

Using HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) levels alone can lead to over- and under-diagnosis of diabetes, says a VA research team. They say oral glucose tests should be used along with HbA1c to ensure a proper diagnosis.... (02/12/2020)

Study: Higher opioid doses fail to lessen pain

Researchers from VA and three universities looked at prescribing data on more than 50,000 VA patients taking opioids and found that increased doses did not improve pain control.... (02/03/2020)

VA seeks to reduce use of popular but much-overused class of drugs

A national VA program is underway to reduce unnecessary use of acid-reducing drugs called proton pump inhibitors, and to disseminate best practices. VA researchers are evaluating the effort.... (02/03/2020)

Research improves tele-eye screening for Veterans

In 2015, VA launched the Technology-based Eye Care Services program, or TECS. The tele-eye screening program now serves 22 sites nationwide, and researchers are helping to ensure optimal effectiveness.... (02/03/2020)

Lab study: E-cigarettes may damage body's ability to fight infection

Electronic cigarettes may weaken the body's ability to fight infection, found a lab study by VA San Diego and University of California San Diego researchers.... (01/15/2020)

VA, DOD embark on new endeavor to study mysteries of traumatic brain injury

"Long-term Impact of Military Relevant Brain Injury Consortium," or LIMBIC, is the world's largest research cohort of Veterans and Service members that is dedicated to the study of mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI), also known as a concussion.... (01/14/2020)

Spreading innovation across VA health care

VA's Diffusion of Excellence program spreads promising clinical innovations across VA health care. Estimates are that more than 100,000 Veterans have benefitted from innovations that came from VA employees and were spread throughout the VA system.... (01/14/2020)

Million Veteran Program study sheds light on genetic basis of anxiety

In the largest genetic study on anxiety to date, VA researchers found new evidence on the underlying biological causes of the disorder. The study used VA Million Veteran Program data to identify regions on the human genome related to anxiety risk.... (01/07/2020)

Health ranks as top concern for Veterans immediately after military service

In a survey of nearly 10,000 Veterans newly separated from military service, most were satisfied with their work and social well-being, but more than half reported chronic physical health problems, and a third reported chronic mental health conditions.... (01/02/2020)

Study supports long-term benefits of non-drug therapies for pain

A new study finds that non-drug therapies given to service members with chronic pain may reduce the risk of long-term adverse outcomes, such as alcohol and drug disorder and self-induced injuries, including suicide attempts.... (12/10/2019)

Oral diabetes drug linked to lower odds of colon cancer

A new study has linked the widely used oral diabetes drug metformin to lower odds of colorectal cancer. The study involved a large sample of VA patients with diabetes who had a colonoscopy.... (12/10/2019)

Study finds VA better than other systems at rating hospital performance

A recent study examined the accuracy and validity of four different health care rating systems. The researchers found that VA does a better job of measuring hospital performance than other government and private-sector rating systems.... (12/03/2019)

Study finds strong ties between social stress factors and suicidal thoughts, attempts

A new study finds that social stress factors—such as violence, homelessness, unemployment, marital problems, and a lack of access to care—have strong connections among Veterans to suicidal thinking and suicide attempts.... (11/21/2019)

Study raises new warnings about frail surgery patients

A VA study has shown that frail surgery patients may be at higher risk than previously thought, leading the researchers to conclude that "there are no 'low-risk' procedures among frail patients."... (11/13/2019)

Research underscores need for further rehab years after brain injury

A new study shows the need for rehab services for Vets at five years after a brain injury. Many patients, caregivers, and providers mistakenly believe such services are relevant only in the short term.... (11/13/2019)

Study gauges VA providers' views on predictive-analytics tool that assesses patient risk

Researchers explored how VA primary care providers are using the Care Assessment Needs report, a predictive-analytics tool that factors in vital signs, lab results, doctor and pharmacy visits, ER use, and other data to calculate a risk score.... (11/13/2019)

VA, Prostate Cancer Foundation seek solutions for aggressive prostate cancer

A partnership between VA and the Prostate Cancer Foundation is speeding the development of treatments and cures for Veterans with aggressive—or metastatic—prostate cancer through precision oncology.... (11/13/2019)

Study: Combat a possible risk factor for hepatitis B

A new study finds Veteran prevalence of hepatitis B to be greatest among those with traditional risk factors, but also suggests that combat exposure can be a risk factor on its own.... (11/08/2019)

VA rolls out nationwide software system for research oversight and reporting

VA research sites nationwide will now all use the same software for managing the regulatory and administrative aspects of research. The move is expected to lighten the load on staff, improve opportunities for collaboration, and potentially speed Veteran access to clinical trials, among other benefits.... (10/31/2019)

Bariatric surgery may not lead to lower health care costs

Despite helping to bring about improved survival and significant weight loss, bariatric surgery may not lead to lower health care costs in the long term, says a VA study.... (10/30/2019)

Suicide Prevention

"From Science to Practice" translates published research into informative tips that VA suicide prevention coordinators and providers can use to support their patients.... (10/24/2019)

No place like home

VA medical foster homes are a sensible way to deliver 24/7 long-term care for Veterans, says Dr. Cari Levy of the Denver VA Medical Center. Her research has shown cost and mortality benefits, compared with conventional nursing home care.... (10/03/2019)

VA National Precision Oncology Program brings tailored cancer treatment to Veterans

An initial study has shown that VA's National Precision Oncology Program has been effective in delivering personalized cancer care. By sequencing tumor samples, the researchers were able to identify mutations that could be treated with approved therapies, or with experimental therapies in clinical trials, for most patients... (10/03/2019)

Researchers piloting nerve stimulation for amputation pain

VA researchers are testing whether nerve stimulation can help Veterans with post-amputation pain. A small pilot study involving 16 Veterans is now underway.... (09/26/2019)

Past military sexual trauma common in older women Veterans

A history of military sexual trauma is common in older women Veterans, found a VA study focused on women age 55 years and older. Also, women who experienced MST were more likely to report multiple health conditions, especially mental health issues.... (09/26/2019)

Early palliative care for advanced lung cancer increases survival

Early palliative care is associated with better survival in patients with advanced lung cancer, according to a study by VA Portland Health Care System and Oregon Health and Science University researchers.... (09/17/2019)

Abnormal gut bugs tied to worse cognitive performance in Vets with PTSD and cirrhosis

A study involving Veterans with PTSD and cirrhosis of the liver points to an abnormal mix of bacteria in the intestines as a possible driver of poor cognitive performance—and as a potential target for therapy. ... (09/11/2019)

Bronx VA psychiatrist-researcher cited for work in suicide prevention

Veteran Wilfredo Santo was so grateful for Dr. Marianne Goodman's suicide prevention program at the Bronx VA that he arranged to have a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the physician-researcher.... (09/11/2019)

Gaining insight into Parkinson's

A set of research projects at the Cleveland FES Center is using deep brain stimulation, virtual reality, and other technology to better understand how Parkinson's disease affects walking and balance.... (08/29/2019)

Gut sense

VA Research is planning a series of studies to gain insight into the gastrointestinal and liver problems that beset many Veterans after deployments. The goal is to bring new treatments to bear as soon as possible. ... (08/21/2019)

Review: Biofeedback could help treat a number of conditions

A literature review by VA researchers highlights the usefulness of biofeedback for headache and incontinence treatment, and stroke recovery. There was less evidence for its role in other conditions.... (08/20/2019)

VA-DeepMind partnership reports on technology for early detection of life-threatening kidney condition

Researchers from VA and the artificial intelligence company DeepMind have achieved a promising medical breakthrough, developing a technology that has the potential to predict a life-threatening kidney condition up to two days before it happens.... (08/20/2019)

Gene variants tied to kidney disease have only modest cardiovascular effect in African Americans

In a study of nearly 31,000 African American participants in VA's Million Veteran Program, researchers found that two gene variants tied to kidney disease have only a modest cardiovascular effect.... (08/16/2019)

New VA program helping inventors turn ideas into viable products

The Technology Transfer Assistance Project (TTAP), an initiative of the VA Technology Transfer Program, aims to bring worthy VA discoveries closer to public use by supporting the creation of a working prototype and by consulting on pathways for commercialization.... (08/01/2019)

Study finds decline in antibiotic use for older Veterans with urinary infections—a positive result from stewardship efforts

A new study finds a significant drop in antibiotic use at VA community living centers treating older Veterans with urinary tract infections—a positive sign in efforts to limit the health problems that can result from the improper use of antibiotics.... (08/01/2019)

MVP study identifies genes linked to re-experiencing symptoms in PTSD

A VA Million Veteran Program study has identified multiple locations in the human genome related to the risk of re-experiencing traumatic memories, the most distinctive symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder.... (07/29/2019)

Routine blood tests could predict future diabetes

Researchers from three VA health care systems showed that elevated blood glucose levels detected in routine outpatient tests, though well below diagnostic thresholds, predicted diabetes diagnoses within five years. ... (07/19/2019)

Study finds new genetic markers for peripheral artery disease

VA researchers and colleagues studied the genetic characteristics of 31,300 veterans with peripheral artery disease and identified 19 genetic markers, 18 of which were not previously reported. The study used data from VA's Million Veteran Program.... (07/18/2019)

Study: New brain stimulation technique shows promise in easing PTSD

A new VA study found that a form of brain stimulation that can rapidly improve communication between neurons in the brain helped ease PTSD symptoms. The team is also using virtual reality as part of PTSD therapy... (07/10/2019)

Study: Vets with PTSD twice as likely as U.S. population to die from suicide, accidental injury, liver damage

A new study finds that Veterans who have been treated for PTSD are twice as likely as the U.S. population to die from suicide, accidental injury, and viral hepatitis, an infection that causes liver inflammation and damage.... (07/10/2019)

VA aims to expand artificial-intelligence research, appoints inaugural AI director

VA is already using artificial intelligence in several ways, such as for suicide prevention and cancer treatment. Now an effort is underway to widen the role of AI in VA care and research. To that end, VA has appointed its first-ever director of artificial intelligence.... (07/10/2019)

VA Diabetes Trial

VA researchers have published long-term follow-up results from a major diabetes trial, in which patients saw no significant drop, on average, in heart attacks or strokes—despite intensive therapy to lower blood sugar levels.... (06/27/2019)

Comprehending the effects of blasts

One way researchers are trying to untangle the mysteries of traumatic brain injury is through animal models, namely rats and mice, and simulated blasts. The goal is to better understand the effects of blasts on the brain, and thereby develop new therapies to heal Veterans and others.... (06/27/2019)

Scientists display medical innovations at 'VA Research Day' in nation's capital

Nearly 25 leading VA researchers, some accompanied by Veteran study participants, showcased their latest scientific, medical, and technological advances in Washington, D.C., as part of the second annual “VA Research Day on the Hill,” held June 20 at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. ... (06/26/2019)

Can brain stimulation ward off dementia?

A VA researcher in Little Rock aims to delay Alzheimer’s through a form of brain stimulation. The target population is those with mild cognitive impairment who display the psychological trait of apathy, shown to be a key risk factor for progression to full-blown dementia. ... (06/26/2019)

Studies: Shame worsens outcomes for Vets with PTSD

VA research suggests that feelings of shame may be a key link between PTSD and suicidal thinking among Veterans. One study found that shame "fully accounted for the effects of PTSD on suicidal ideation."... (06/10/2019)

Kansas City VA lab aims to improve prognosis for pancreatic cancer

A team at the Kansas City (Missouri) VAMC is working to boost the effectiveness of a drug seen as the best hope for patients with pancreatic cancer—even if most tumors become resistant to it after a few doses. They also have a nanomedicine-based approach to pancreatic cancer in the works.... (06/10/2019)

Study: Patients with diabetes do as well with physician assistants, nurse practitioners as with physicians

VA patients with diabetes have similar health outcomes regardless of whether their primary provider is a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, according to a Durham VA Health Care System study.... (06/04/2019)

Molecular delivery system takes arthritis drugs directly to joints

In lab studies, VA researchers have developed a potential method to deliver arthritis medication directly to painful joints without risking side effects in the rest of the body.... (06/03/2019)

High LDL linked to early-onset Alzheimer's

Researchers at the Atlanta VA found a link between high LDL cholesterol and early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The results could help doctors understand how the disease develops and what the possible causes are, including genetic variation.... (05/28/2019)

The right prescription

A physician-investigator at the Washington DC VAMC is a member of the African American Cardiovascular Pharmacogenomics Consortium, created in 2016 to advance precision prescribing—based on patients’ genes—of cardiovascular drugs for African Americans.... (05/22/2019)

Study: Video games can help Veterans recover from mental health challenges

A recent study with a small sample of Veterans trying to recover from mental health issues found that video games can help in overcoming such problems as PTSD and substance use disorders.... (05/22/2019)

Study finds high levels of abnormally fast brain waves in mild brain injury

A VA San Diego study finds that Vets and service members with a history of combat-related mild traumatic brain injury have much higher levels of abnormally fast brain waves in a region that plays a key role in consciousness.... (05/09/2019)

VA and partners hope APOLLO program will be leap forward for precision oncology

VA and two federal partners—the Department of Defense and the National Cancer Institute—are looking to harness the latest advances in genomic and proteomic medicine to help tailor cancer treatment for individual Veterans and service members. The effort is named APOLLO, after the space mission that landed men on the moon.... (05/01/2019)

'An intriguing structural finding'

A new study finds that Veterans and active-duty service members with combat-related PTSD and mild traumatic brain injury had larger amygdalas—the region of the brain that processes such emotions as fear, anxiety, and aggression—than those with only brain injuries.... (04/29/2019)

Study confirms value of prolonged exposure therapy for Vets with PTSD and alcohol problems

A VA San Diego study has confirmed the value of prolonged exposure therapy for Veterans coping with both PTSD and alcohol problems. Some experts have worried exposure therapy could worsen drinking in this population.... (04/24/2019)

3D images, algorithms are key in potential new tool for measuring bedsores in spinal cord injury

VA researchers are developing a new instrument for measuring bedsores, or pressure ulcers, using 3D cameras, tablet computers, and an algorithm. The work will mainly benefit Veterans with spinal cord injuries.... (04/23/2019)

Housing for homeless Veterans

Researchers delved into the different living situations available to homeless Veterans through the HUD-VASH voucher program. VA Research Currents talked with investigator Dr. Ann Elizabeth Montgomery about what her team learned.... (04/11/2019)

Gene transfer improves diabetes-linked heart ailment

Researchers with VA and the University of California San Diego have shown that a gene transfer technique can combat heart dysfunction caused by diabetes.... (03/27/2019)

Omega-3s: Are they really good for your heart?

Dr. Salim Virani, a VA cardiologist in Houston, co-authored a review study summarizing recent clinical trials on omega-3 fatty acids. He addresses current recommendations for the general public and those with existing heart disease.... (03/27/2019)

PTSD nightmares: Is there an effective treatment?

A review article by a VA clinician-researcher explores why nightmares are a hallmark of PTSD, examines the associated health risks, discusses the best treatments, and identifies future research needs.... (03/13/2019)

Collaborative care in mental health reduces hospital admissions

In a VA study involving nearly 5,600 Veterans, collaborative care models for mental health reduced hospitalization rates and, for complex patients, improved health status.... (03/13/2019)

A grape-based cancer therapy?

A team at the Washington DC VA is testing an extract made from the skins of muscadine grapes against aggressive forms of prostate cancer in the lab. The work complements a clinical trial based at Johns Hopkins University.... (03/05/2019)

Study: Technology helps upper-limb amputees regain a sense of touch

A small VA trial confirmed that a neural feedback system developed by VA and Case Western Reserve University investigators could help give back a sense of natural touch to amputees using artificial hands... (02/28/2019)

Conference to examine health, legal issues involving Veterans and others who break the law

Veterans are among the special populations to be discussed at an upcoming conference on health care in the criminal justice system. Veterans make up about 8 percent of the arrestee, jail, prison, and community-supervision population.... (02/28/2019)

Preventing colon cancer

The VA Colonoscopy Collaborative is a framework for promoting epidemiological research and quality improvement. The ultimate goal is to optimize the effectiveness of colonoscopies in VA and thereby improve Veterans' outcomes.... (02/21/2019)

VA study links antibiotics with diabetes risk

A study from the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System found that Veterans with a history of antibiotic use were more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.... (02/14/2019)

Better care for the elderly

In two studies, researchers assessed the impact of VA's GeriPACT program, a model of primary care designed around the needs of older patients.... (02/06/2019)

Large genome study leads to better understanding of high blood pressure

A large, international genetic study using Million Veteran Program data has identified more than 200 gene variants that could contribute to high blood pressure. The study also identified over 200 drugs currently used to treat other diseases that could potentially be repurposed to treat high blood pressure.... (02/06/2019)

San Diego VA study testing cannabidiol—a compound derived from cannabis—for PTSD

Researchers at the VA San Diego Healthcare System aim to see whether cannabidiol, or CBD—a compound derived from cannabis plants—can help ease PTSD.... (02/05/2019)

Study: Online program helps Veterans lose weight, potentially prevent diabetes

VA researchers compared an online version of the Diabetes Prevention Program to an in-person DPP and to MOVE!, VA's flagship weight management program.... (02/05/2019)

Relationship impairment due to PTSD and depression has opposite effect on treatment-seeking in men and women

Relationship problems stemming from PTSD and depression could have opposite effects on men and women in terms of their seeking mental health treatment, found a VA Boston Healthcare System.... (01/23/2019)

VA studies highlight pros, cons of different blood thinners after heart valve replacement

A pair of recent VA studies looked at how patient outcomes differed based on which drugs doctors prescribed to prevent blood clots after surgery to replace faulty aortic valves. ... (01/16/2019)

Review study points to most effective mind-body therapies for PTSD

VA researchers reviewing nearly two dozen randomized VA trials on mind-body therapies gave three of the therapies a nod of approval: mindfulness, yoga, and relaxation. ... (01/16/2019)

Mindfulness and PTSD: What does the research show?

Taken on balance, findings from clinical trials suggest that mindfulness practices can be a helpful aid for Veterans seeking to recover from PTSD... (12/28/2018)

Researchers explore Vet preferences for receiving results from genetic tests

A VA study is exploring Veterans' preferences for receiving the results of genetic tests they complete as part of research.... (12/20/2018)

San Diego VA study yields new insight on how memory works

Two VA researchers have explored how memory is tied to the hippocampus, with findings that will expand scientists' understanding of how memory works and ideally aid in detection, prevention, and treatment of memory disorders.... (12/20/2018)

Tackling trauma, depression via the immune system

A VA research team hopes to show how the immune system can be harnessed to treat depression and PTSD.... (12/11/2018)

Growing Pains

Two VA studies on the Veterans Choice Program found that patients generally liked the health care they received but found the process challenging.... (12/04/2018)

Higher overdose risk seen in Massachusetts patients getting opioids from both VA and non-VA pharmacies

Veterans in Massachusetts who had opioid prescriptions filled by both VA and non-VA pharmacies had worse outcomes than who receiving prescriptions from VA only, according to a new study.... (12/04/2018)

Trial confirms safety of vein-removal technique used in open-heart surgery

A VA Cooperative Studies Program trial has found that a form of vein removal used in heart bypass surgery—endoscopic vein harvesting—is just as safe as "open" vein harvesting when it's performed by surgeons with ample expertise in the technique.... (11/28/2018)

When it comes to using birth control, intention and attitude matter

A new VA study adds to the evidence that women's intentions around becoming pregnant don't fully explain whether and how they use contraception. Rather, their attitudes toward becoming pregnant also play a role.... (11/28/2018)

Is alcohol healthy?

A new study finds that consuming alcoholic beverages daily—even at low levels that meet U.S. guidelines for safe drinking—can be "detrimental" to your health. The findings are similar to those of other recent research.... (11/28/2018)

Study: Veterans with multiple brain injuries twice as likely to consider suicide, compared with those with one or none

A new study finds that post-9-11 Veterans with a history of repeated traumatic brain injuries—versus none—are at much greater risk for considering suicide... (11/20/2018)

Reflections of a Nobel laureate in medicine on his career with VA and life in the USA

Dr. Andrew V. Schally, who shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1977 for identifying the structure of hormonal peptides in the brain, offers reflections on his career with VA and life in the USA.... (11/15/2018)

Study: In-person, but not online, social contact may protect against psychiatric disorders

In-person social contact seems to offer some protection against depression and PTSD symptoms, but the same is not true of contact on Facebook, suggests a study by VA researchers and colleagues.... (11/15/2018)

Hormone analogs as medical treatment

A manmade compound based on a brain hormone spurred the growth of cancer in Petri dishes but enigmatically had the opposite effect in mice. The compound and others like it are being looked at not only for their effect on cancer, but for their ability to regrow healthy tissue to heal damaged hearts and other organs. ... (11/06/2018)

Can a natural compound subdue suicidal thoughts?

VA researchers are trying to learn whether uridine, a naturally occurring dietary supplement, has the potential to subdue suicidal thinking, or ideation.... (10/24/2018)

No 'legacy effect'

Long-term follow-up of a major VA diabetes study shows that patients who received intensive therapy to lower blood sugar did not see a significant drop, on average, in heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular events... (10/24/2018)

MVP study on cholesterol genetics could lead to new treatments for heart disease, diabetes

Using data from VA's Million Veteran Program, a team led by VA and Stanford researchers has identified three genetic mutations that govern cholesterol levels.... (10/24/2018)

Study finds shortcomings in how doctors talk about lung nodules

Lung nodules are common, but most are benign. A new VA study points to deficiencies in how health care providers communicate with patients about the condition when it is detected.... (10/04/2018)

Study shows how binge drinking and stress affects male, female mice differently

A VA and Oregon Health & Sciences University team found that a history of binge drinking made male and female mice react differently to traumatic stress. The research may help scientists understand why men and women seem to handle both alcohol and stress differently.... (10/04/2018)

Crisis prevention

The REACH VET program uses predictive modeling and medical record data to identify Veterans at high risk for suicide. In its first year, the program identified 30,000 at-risk Veterans. VA researchers are now evaluating the program’s overall effectiveness. ... (09/20/2018)

VA aims to improve effectiveness of programs through randomized evaluations

VA has turned to its research community to design and initiate rigorous randomized evaluations of several key VA programs, serving Veterans affected by opioid use, suicide risk, and other high-priority issues.... (09/13/2018)

A new resource for Gulf War research

VA researchers have built a new resource, the Gulf War Era Cohort and Biorepository, they hope will help address some of the lingering questions on Gulf War Veterans' health problems.... (09/12/2018)

Veterans and the criminal justice system

Dr. Andrea Finlay in Palo Alto is one of several VA researchers who are exploring trends and characteristics related to Veterans who collide with the criminal justice system. ... (09/07/2018)

It's in the genes

VA researchers aim to learn whether a genetic test can help patients and doctors choose the right statin medication, with an eye toward minimizing the muscle pain that sometimes occurs with the drugs.... (08/28/2018)

Parental support

VA researchers are hoping to improve the experience of parents who are caregivers for their adult children who have served in the military and are battling severe physical or mental injuries. ... (08/23/2018)

Home use test of brain-computer interface for ALS patients yields 'complicated' results

Researchers from several VA medical centers conducted home testing of a brain-computer interface for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), with mixed results.... (08/23/2018)

Data-sharing milestone

The landmark military-sponsored Millennium Cohort Study, which has tracked the health of more than 200,000 service members, will now incorporate VA data, as an aid to both VA and Defense researchers.... (08/10/2018)

Breathing easier

VA scientists are working to create a 3D-printed artificial lung that promises to dramatically improve the treatment of Veterans affected by lung disease. ... (08/01/2018)

Lab tests show protein reverses memory loss in HIV-infected mice

A VA scientist in Atlanta has long been trying to determine how HIV causes or worsens memory problems, in the hope that he and others can develop treatments to ease or reverse the troubling symptom. ... (07/24/2018)

Smokers hazy on actual benefits of lung cancer screenings

Many smokers seem to be confused about the actual benefits and limitations of lung cancer screenings, according to a study by the VA Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven Care in Seattle.... (07/24/2018)

Honor thy father

The career of longtime VA clinician-researcher Dr. Stephen Hunt is inspired by the memory of his father, who fought in World War II, and that of three young men who were killed in Vietnam and were the older brothers of his friends.... (07/19/2018)

Lines of communication

Neuroscientists at VA's Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans are using special MRI scans to learn about how different brain regions communicate with each other. The goal is to pinpoint better therapies for PTSD and traumatic brain injury. ... (07/19/2018)

Out and about

At the Baltimore VA Medical Center, Veterans with PTSD have participated in group-based exposure therapy, benefiting from mutual support—and a therapist's guidance—as they tackle group outings such as bus or train rides and restaurant visits.... (07/05/2018)

Researchers urge consumers to do their homework when buying popular supplement probiotics

VA researchers say there's no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to probiotics. They point to strong evidence that probiotic products must be chosen with a specific strain in mind, well-matched to the health condition being treated.... (06/27/2018)

Study: Demanding, fast-paced military lifestyle may cause women to adopt poor eating habits

VA researchers sought to learn how the unique demands of the military lifestyle had affected the eating habits of 20 female Veterans who had reported changing their eating habits in response to stress while in the service.... (06/27/2018)

Agent Orange presumption policy leads to higher VA health care use

A VA study shows that for Vietnam Veterans, having a medical condition presumed related to Agent Orange exposure is linked to greater use of VA care, as per lawmakers' intent when they passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991.... (06/13/2018)

Gut check

VA scientists seek to learn whether Veterans with Gulf War illness have problems with their gut bacteria. The team is doing a pilot study involving 52 Veterans.... (06/13/2018)

Following VA-led study, FDA approves new drug to diagnose adult growth hormone deficiency

Based on a clinical trial led by a VA investigator, the FDA has approved a drug considered a fast, simple way to determine if a patient has adult growth hormone deficiency. The condition can occur after traumatic brain injury.... (06/12/2018)

Some returning Vets are not breathing easy: Could war-zone dust mites be part of the problem?

A team in Baltimore is studying how dust mites affect respiratory health. Past research suggested they could be among several causes of asthma and other lung disorders among some Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans.... (05/31/2018)

Iowa study aims to help Vets with TBI struggling with migraines, light sensitivity

Dr. Levi Sowers, with VA's Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Visual Loss, is studying post-trauma and migraine headaches. He wants to learn how to use light stimulation and other innovative techniques to ease the pain.... (05/31/2018)

Meditation in motion

VA researchers are studying whether tai chi, an ancient Chinese mind-body therapy, can help relieve the chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms experienced by many Gulf War Veterans.... (05/24/2018)

New prostate cancer technologies: Are they worth the price?

New technologies have revolutionized the treatment of prostate cancer. However, the cost-effectiveness of these technologies, compared with more traditional treatments, has not been fully explored.... (05/24/2018)

Study: No difference in effectiveness of stents used in patients with heart disease

A large VA multisite clinical trial has found that two kinds of stents often used in those who have heart bypass surgery are equally effective in preventing heart attacks, cardiac death, and repeat procedures to the arteries of the heart.... (05/16/2018)

Single-tablet HIV treatment shows better outcomes over multi-tablet regimen

IV patients on a single-tablet daily regimen had better outcomes than patients taking multiple pills per day, in a study that included a researcher at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston.... (05/16/2018)

Gene variant may increase psychiatric risk after TBI

A gene variant known to predict Alzheimer's risk was linked to worse psychiatric symptoms in those with a traumatic brain injury. Study participants with the gene variant and at least one TBI had more severe PTSD, anxiety, and depression, compared with TBI patients without the same variant. ... (04/25/2018)

Warrior wellness

Innovative research at the Durham VA is exploring the benefits of physical exercise for older Veterans with PTSD. ... (04/25/2018)

Epstein-Barr virus could be cause of multiple autoimmune disorders

The Epstein-Barr virus, best-known for its role in causing mononucleosis, or the "kissing disease," has now been linked to a wide range of autoimmune diseases, ranging from lupus and multiple sclerosis to inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease.... (04/19/2018)

Can older Vets with TBIs benefit from mobile game apps?

A VA pilot study is looking at whether two types of video-game-like apps—a multitasking game and a word-puzzle game—can help improve cognitive health in older Veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury.... (04/18/2018)

Muscling in on muscle loss: DC team seeks new ways to detect, treat sarcopenia

A VA research team in the nation's capital is looking for ways to detect and combat sarcopenia—the gradual drop in muscle mass, strength, and function that comes with aging.... (04/18/2018)

Electronic alerts lower co-prescribing of opioids and benzodiazepines

Investigators used VA's electronic medical record system to automatically alert providers prescribing either opioids or benzodiazepine when high-risk patients had prescriptions for the other drug class. Co-prescribing of the two medications dropped for patients with substance use disorder, sleep apnea, and suicide risk... (04/04/2018)

Diabetes detective

Dr. W. Timothy Garvey’s lab team in Birmingham is in hot pursuit of a new diabetes drug that will keep the disease from progressing. One lead they are pursuing is a gene known as TRIB3, shown to be a major driver of insulin resistance. ... (04/04/2018)

Man on a mission

Dr. Harold Koenig and colleagues are exploring whether counseling with a religious or spiritual component can be effective treatment for PTSD—particularly when feelings of moral injury are involved. ... (04/04/2018)

Understanding the impact of PTSD on parenting

A team at VA's Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans examined post-9-11 research on the effects of military PTSD on parenting, child outcomes, and parent-child functioning.... (04/04/2018)

They've got each other's backs

While group therapy sessions for those with issues like PTSD or anger are commonplace at VA hospitals, clinics, and Vet Centers, a research team at the Bronx VA is doing relatively pioneering work by running a group for suicidal Veterans.... (03/28/2018)

Researchers probe integration of mental health services in primary care

VA researchers have been studying the integration of mental health services within primary care. They’ve found that the model, now in place at hundreds of VA clinics nationwide, is improving Veteran access to mental health care as intended. ... (03/28/2018)

Advisory committee key to shaping VA research initiatives

The National Research Advisory Council, or NRAC, was created in 1999 to provide external review of VA’s research mission. The group is one of nearly 30 advisory committees that help guide VA programs and policies.... (03/28/2018)

Studies using electrical stimulation, neuroimaging aim for new insights on TBI, PTSD

VA scientists are studying an experimental electrical brain-stimulation technique, coupled with neuroimaging, to learn how mild traumatic brain injury interacts with PTSD in specific areas of the brain.... (03/28/2018)

'Mystery shopper' model being used to boost VA care

Thanks to the research of Dr. Saul Weiner and colleagues, VA is using “unannounced standardized patients”—similar to the “mystery shoppers” used in retail—to improve care and services for Veterans.... (03/21/2018)

A new battlefront

Researchers are helping VA design and deliver services for homeless women Veterans, or those at risk for becoming homeless—and seeking to understand the factors that drive homelessness in this population... (03/21/2018)

Essential tool or hindrance to communication?

Researchers investigated how physician interaction with the computer during a consultation—mouse clicks, key strokes, and gaze, or looking intently at the screen—impacts patient participation in the discussion.... (03/13/2018)

Many patients show signs of chronic kidney disease before diabetes diagnosis

Many patients who will later be diagnosed with diabetes show signs of chronic kidney disease even before their diabetes diagnosis, according to a study by VA researchers and colleagues in Tennessee. ... (03/13/2018)

Individual Placement and Support more effective than transitional work for Veterans with PTSD

An innovative vocational program, emphasizing individualized placement support, has yielded positive outcomes for Veterans with PTSD in a study involving 541 Vets at 12 VA sites.... (03/01/2018)

The loneliness factor: How much does it drive depression in Veterans?

To what extent does loneliness contribute to depression in Veterans? A VA-funded study has addressed that relatively unexplored question.... (02/28/2018)

VA launches telehealth program for rural Vets with PTSD

VA has launched a pilot telehealth program that will give rural Veterans with PTSD remote access to psychotherapy and related services. The effort builds on years of prior research showing how PTSD therapy can be delivered effectively via video. ... (02/15/2018)

Drug used for PTSD nightmares falls short in large VA trial

The drug prazosin, used widely to help ease PTSD nightmares, did no better than placebo in a large VA trial. Despite the apparent overall failure, the researchers contend there are subgroups of Veterans who do in fact benefit from the treatment. ... (02/08/2018)

Study to focus on women with limb loss

A VA researcher in New York has Department of Defense funding to study the unique physical and psychosocial needs of women living with amputation.... (02/08/2018)

Research rocks for homeless Vets at the Louisville VA

A pilot study at the Louisville VA in Kentucky showed the therapeutic benefit of rocking chairs for homeless Veterans in treatment for substance abuse problems, mainly alcohol addiction.... (02/08/2018)

Researchers develop tool to predict flares in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

VA researchers aim to predict—months in advance—the likelihood of someone with inflammatory bowel disease experiencing intestinal inflammation that requires hospitalization or outpatient steroid treatment... (02/01/2018)

PTSD and accelerated aging: How advanced is the science?

Two Boston-based psychologists with VA's National Center for PTSD are at the forefront of understanding the long-term biological impacts of PTSD, including accelerated aging at the cellular level.... (01/16/2018)

Joining forces

VA and the CDC have partnered to build a research network aimed at learning the best ways to protect patients and employees from infectious diseases in medical settings.... (01/10/2018)

Acid reduction

The Lexington VA Medical Center in Kentucky implemented a stewardship program to monitor the use of proton pump inhibitors—popular antacid drugs that may carry harmful side effects. The team has now reported outcomes from the program.... (12/20/2017)

Deep brain stimulation linked to longer survival for Parkinson's patients

A treatment called deep brain stimulation could slightly extend the life of people with Parkinson's disease. Researchers found that patients who received stimulation via an implanted device had a modest survival advantage compared with those treated with medication only.... (12/20/2017)

Drug that acts like ketamine—but without the potential for abuse or psychotic effects—eases depression in lab tests

Researchers say a drug developed for improving thinking has the ability to act like the drug ketamine, which is being studied for its antidepressant effects, without the problematic side effects associated with ketamine.... (12/08/2017)

Stepping up their game

Thanks to innovative research at the Baltimore VA, older Veterans are making strides—literally—in their ability to move about, stay balanced, prevent falls—and get up from a fall if they do have one... (11/28/2017)

MVP data leads to new finding on ‘resistant hypertension’

Using data from the Million Veteran Program, VA researchers found that a blood pressure condition called resistant hypertension can increase the risk of cardiovascular problems and kidney failure.... (11/28/2017)

Largest-ever VA clinical trial enrolls 50,000th Veteran

A VA clinical trial that aims to learn which test is best for colorectal cancer screening enrolled its 50,000th Veteran participant. The trial is the largest single VA-sponsored trial ever.... (11/28/2017)

Program improves cognition, psychiatric symptoms but falls short on employment front

A study has shown that a form of cognitive training can improve thinking ability, psychiatric symptoms, and quality of life in people with severe mental illnesses. But those who received the training fared no better in work outcomes, compared with a control group.... (11/16/2017)

Down on the farm

The organization Growing Veterans, which gets participants involved in agriculture, provides a peaceful and therapeutic experience that can help Veterans reintegrate after deployments.... (11/09/2017)

Brain stimulation technique shows promise in reducing fear in Veterans with PTSD

VA researchers say a non-invasive technique called transcranial direct current stimulation may help lessen PTSD symptoms. Further testing is planned.... (11/09/2017)

Study: Leg implants for paralysis work long-term

Researchers followed up with spinal-cord-injured patients years after the patients had received neuroprosthetic implants that allow them to stand and perform other functions. The systems "provide lasting benefits that recipients value," the study found.... (11/09/2017)

White matter damage linked to chronic musculoskeletal pain in Gulf War Veterans

A study from the Madison VA Hospital in Wisconsin has linked structural damage in the white matter of the brain to chronic musculoskeletal pain in Gulf War Veterans.... (10/26/2017)

Navigating the college experience

The college experience presents challenges for Veterans unlike those facing traditional students. Researchers have noted higher rates of mental health disorders among Veteran students, compared with their non-Vet college peers, and problems for many of these Veterans in adjusting to campus life.... (10/26/2017)

Untangling PTSD

VA's National PTSD Brain Bank is currently storing tissue from 168 brains. The bank aims to help with one of VA's most pressing challenges: understanding the complex nature of PTSD, and pointing the way toward new and better treatments.... (10/19/2017)

Researchers find evidence of DNA damage in Vets with Gulf War illness

VA researchers say they have found the "first direct biological evidence" of damage in Veterans with Gulf War illness to DNA within cellular structures that produce energy in the body.... (10/19/2017)

Finding purpose through community service

Volunteer programs, such as Team Rubicon and The Mission Continues, are helping Vets who are adjusting to life at home find purpose and at the same time are easing their transition back to civilian life.... (10/13/2017)

VA researchers question whether traumatic brain injuries lead to Alzheimer's

Many studies have linked traumatic brain injuries, the signature injury of recent wars, with an increased risk of Alzheimer's. But emerging evidence may shed doubt on that theory, says a new report from a San Francisco VA team.... (10/05/2017)

Parkinson's patients do the tango in hopes of improving walking ability, balance

An Atlanta VA researcher has modified the traditional Argentine tango to serve as a rehabilitation therapy for Veterans and others with Parkinson's disease.... (09/27/2017)

Study shows how community event can spur safe gun storage

Researchers found that community events at which gun owners received education and free locking devices led to higher rates of safe gun storage. The study followed gun-owners who had taken part in firearm-safety events held at sporting-goods stores.... (09/14/2017)

Online tool simplifies complex medical language for patients

VA researchers have created an online resource that helps patients better understand their health care providers' electronic medical notes, which are often written in ways that make them difficult for the average person to comprehend.... (09/14/2017)

Study: Majority of transgender Veterans satisfied with VA care

Most transgender Veterans who use VA health care are satisfied with their care, according to a VA Puget Sound Health Care System study. The findings are based on a survey of nearly 300 transgender Veterans, more than half of whom had used VA care.... (09/06/2017)

VA scientist mentors pair of former Marines in biomedicine, with goal of creating artificial heart

Dr. Ngan Huang, a biomedical engineer at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, currently has two former Marines interning in her lab, and plans to expand the opportunity to other Veterans. ... (08/31/2017)

Probing psychotherapies for PTSD

VA researchers are conducting a head-to-head comparison of two leading psychotherapies for PTSD: prolonged exposure therapy, and cognitive processing therapy. The trial will involve 900 Veterans at nearly 20 VA medical centers nationwide.... (08/30/2017)

Study data lacking on benefits and risks of medical marijuana for chronic pain and PTSD

According to a literature review commissioned by the VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, evidence is lacking on the effects of medical marijuana for many types of chronic pain and for PTSD.... (08/24/2017)

Telehealth inhaler training helps Vets with respiratory disease

Most COPD patients use their inhalers incorrectly. VA researchers have now tested a new training technique that offers Veterans home-based one-to-one training with a pharmacist via videoconferencing.... (08/24/2017)

Major VA trial helps answer question of which heart bypass method is better

In a follow-up study in the New England Journal of Medicine, VA researchers report five-year outcomes from more than 2,200 Veterans who underwent heart bypass surgery at 18 VA medical centers. The study offers further insight on the pros and cons of two surgical approaches.... (08/17/2017)

VA employees showcase innovative projects, best practices aimed at helping Vets

VA ingenuity, foresight, and brainpower took center stage on a sunny day in the nation's capital earlier this month. VA innovators from across the country showcased a stream of innovations and quality-improvement initiatives designed to enhance the Veteran experience.... (08/17/2017)

High-dose flu vaccine may lead to fewer hospitalizations

Giving elderly nursing home residents high-dose flu vaccines rather than standard doses could lead to fewer respiratory infections and other illnesses, as reflected in hospital admissions, according to a study led by Providence VA Medical Center researchers... (08/17/2017)

Program helps VA learn about long-term outcomes of Vets with traumatic brain injuries

The VA TBI Model System gathers data on the recovery of Veterans and active-duty military with traumatic brain injuries. It aims to give clinicians, patients, and families a better understanding of how long recovery takes, and what the chances are for returning to work and living independently.... (08/10/2017)

Colorectal cancer screenings higher in Veterans who use VA or military health care

In a study by a team with VA, UCLA and Duke, Veterans with health coverage related to their Veteran status were more likely to have up-to-date screenings for colorectal cancer than Vets who used private health insurance instead.... (08/03/2017)

Career Development workshop helps prime next generation of VA research leaders

VA's Career Development program is one of the most competitive in the nation, and the M.D. and Ph.D. researchers who get funded are considered an elite group. Some 40 of them came to Washington, D.C., for a meeting that was part scientific symposium, part nuts-and-bolts workshop, and part support group.... (08/02/2017)

VA program shows promise in improving safety of drug prescriptions for older patients

VA researchers have launched a quality-improvement initiative to help providers avoid potentially inappropriate medications when prescribing for older Veterans who are discharged from an emergency department.... (08/02/2017)

Study: Yoga helps back pain among Veterans

A study that included 150 Veterans with chronic low back pain found that those who completed a 12-week yoga program had better scores on a disability questionnaire, improved pain intensity scores, and a decline in opioid use. The findings jibe with those from two past clinical trials involving non-Veterans. ... (07/25/2017)

Research links multiple forms of trauma with eating disorders in female Vets

VA research has identified clear ties between trauma and eating disorders in women Veterans. One recent study found that women who reported military sexual trauma were twice as likely to develop an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating.... (07/20/2017)

Researchers pinpoint reductions in brain volume of ill Gulf War Vets

A study at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System has shown a "systematic and significant" reduction in brain volumes of about 10 percent in Vets with Gulf War illness, compared with non-affected Veterans.... (07/20/2017)

Prostate Cancer: Study Finds No Statistical Difference Between Surgery, Observation in Reducing Deaths

A VA-led clinical trial that spanned nearly 20 years has concluded that surgery does not significantly reduce all-cause or prostate cancer deaths for men who are diagnosed in the early stages of the disease. The findings should help inform the debate over how best to treat the common cancer.... (07/13/2017)

Don't snore through this: Study aims to highlight risks of sleep apnea in African-Americans—and potential benefits of treatment

A VA study in Chicago is compiling evidence on how CPAP therapy for sleep apnea can benefit a demographic group that has traditionally underused the treatment—African-Americans.... (06/28/2017)

Study explores ways in which melamine, found in household items, can cause kidney damage

A new study from the Calcium Signaling Laboratory at the Washington DC VA Medical Center sheds new light on how melamine, found in tableware and many other plastic products, can contribute toward kidney cell damage and kidney stone formation.... (06/28/2017)

Pain in the neck? Caregiver-assisted massage might pose solution

A new VA study is teaching Veterans’ informal caregivers how to give massages to ease neck pain. A four-hour training is reinforced with a workbook and DVD.... (06/22/2017)

Study suggests possible ties between low cholesterol levels and suicide risk in Vets

Past research suggests a possible link between abnormally low cholesterol and suicide risk. A small study based on data from one VA site indicates the theory may warrant further investigation.... (06/22/2017)

Researcher: U.N. suicide prevention program should be studied among U.S. Veterans

VA researchers assessed suicide prevention methods used around the world by reviewing published trials. They found promising evidence for the World Health Organization's "brief intervention and contact program."... (06/14/2017)

Reckless behavior fuels ongoing stress for some with PTSD

VA researchers found that for those with PTSD, risky and harmful behaviors could lead to more trauma and, in turn, worse PTSD symptoms over time.... (06/14/2017)

Study yields insight on sexual disorder and its effects on Vets

VA researchers have conducted the most thorough study to date on compulsive sexual behavior among Veterans. In the study of 820 recent combat Veterans, almost 14 percent of men and more than 4 percent of women acknowle... (06/07/2017)

Large study assessing needs, experiences of pregnant and postpartum Veterans

Little is known about how women Veterans access and use maternity care during pregnancy and following childbirth. Researchers are thus undertaking one of the most comprehensive VA studies yet on women's maternal health care issues.... (06/07/2017)

Early-life pain may contribute to obesity risk, finds rat study

Researchers found in a study with rats that inflammatory pain at birth changes how the hippocampus works later in life. The change leads to eating more frequently, and in larger amounts.... (06/07/2017)

Addressing the crisis in drug treatment of PTSD

A group of VA researchers has forged a set of recommendations to address what they say is a "crisis" in the area of drug treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder.... (05/30/2017)

On the Hill: VA researchers visit D.C. to show latest rehab technology

VA ingenuity was on display on Capitol Hill on May 16, as researchers showed off new technologies that can potentially improve the lives of Veterans and others with limb loss or neurological disorders such as paralysis.... (05/30/2017)

Treating liver cancer: Access to 'best care' critical to survival

Liver cancer is a complex disease that must be treated by multiple specialists working in concert. A VA study looked at challenges in expanding optimal care for Veterans with the disease, and at some promising solutions.... (05/24/2017)

Lithium, long used for other brain conditions, may hold promise for TBI

A VA lab group in Pittsburgh is studying how the drug lithium affects the release of neurotransmitters after traumatic brain injury. They hope to generate evidence to support a future clinical trial. ... (05/18/2017)

New app will target Veterans in cardiac rehab

A new app aims to help Veterans with a recent heart attack or other heart problem who are in a medically supervised exercise and lifestyle program... (05/11/2017)

Knee popping? You may be at risk for arthritis

Noisy knees—or crepitus, in medical jargon—may be a warning sign of worsening osteoarthritis for some people, suggests a new VA study.... (05/11/2017)

Standing tall

VA researchers are studying the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton and its impact on quality of life. They are enrolling 160 Veterans with spinal cord injury at 10 VA sites.... (05/11/2017)

Gestational diabetes and preeclampsia rates higher in women with PTSD

Posttraumatic stress disorder may be a risk factor for two common pregnancy complications, according to a VA study. Women Veterans with PTSD receiving care in the VA health care system had higher rates of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia than those without PTSD.... (04/26/2017)

Studies probe pre-suicide contact with mental health care among Vets, soldiers

Two recent studies examined the phenomenon of Veterans and service members taking their lives shortly after contact with mental health providers. One points to high risk in the week following discharge from a psychiatric unit. The other study says many soldiers who die by suicide access health care shortly before death.... (04/26/2017)

Press 1 for relief: Phone system shows promise in easing low back pain

To help Veterans with chronic low back pain, VA researchers tested cognitive behavioral therapy delivered through an interactive voice response phone system to the patients in their homes. The approach worked just as well as in-person therapy.... (04/26/2017)

A measured approach to mental health care

One of the goals of VA’s QUERI for Team-Based Behavioral Health is to expand the use of measurement in VA mental health care. The focus is on using patient-reported measures consistently throughout treatment... (04/20/2017)

On the frontlines of diabetes prevention

Researchers compared two VA programs aimed at helping overweight or obese Veterans achieve a healthier weight and ideally stave off diabetes, which affects nearly 1 in 4 VA patients.... (04/20/2017)

Heavy versus light drinking: What are the relative effects on performance years later?

Heavy drinkers develop behavioral tolerance to alcohol over time on some fine motor tasks, but not on more complex tasks, suggests a study led by a VA San Diego Healthcare System researcher. ... (04/10/2017)

Launching VA lung cancer screening program is 'complex, challenging'

According to a recent VA study, developing and implementing a comprehensive lung-cancer screening program for the nearly 900,000 Veterans who are eligible is "complex and challenging, requiring new tools and patient care processes for staff, as well as dedicated patient coordination."... (04/05/2017)

VA surgeon researching cell-based tools to create artificial kidney

Dr. Jason Wertheim, a surgeon and biomedical engineer at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, is leading a bioengineering effort to develop tissue for a replacement kidney and thus circumvent the problem of organ shortage.... (03/23/2017)

Testosterone therapy: Is the verdict now in?

A landmark seven-part study funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging called the Testosterone Trials (TTrials) has produced mixed results.... (03/23/2017)

Study: Electroacupuncture eases pain through stem-cell release

A series of tests involving humans, horses, and rodents has provided the most thorough picture yet of how electroacupuncture—a modern version of the ancient Chinese healing art—eases pain and promotes tissue repair. The study included a VA researcher and more than 40 other clinicians and scientists.... (03/16/2017)

Probing the value of peer mentors for homeless Veterans

A recently published VA study explored the role of peer mentors—in this case, Veterans who were once homeless themselves—in improving the health outcomes of currently homeless Veterans.... (03/16/2017)

Study points to myelin changes as early marker of Alzheimer's

A VA study suggests that changes in myelin, a fatty white substance in the central nervous system that surrounds nerve fibers, may be a very early sign of Alzheimer's disease.... (03/16/2017)

Study shows how H. pylori causes white blood cells to morph

VA researchers and colleagues in Iowa showed in a lab study how neutrophils—the most common type of white blood cell—undergo changes when infected by the common pathogen H. pylori. The team is the first to demonstrate such changes in cells isolated from human blood.... (03/09/2017)

Blood pressure drug found to be better for bones, versus other treatments

A large database study by a team including a VA investigator shows that one of the drugs frequently given to combat high blood pressure, chlorthalidone, may also improve bone strength and cut the risk of osteoporotic fractures.... (02/28/2017)

What happens when patients access their mental health providers' notes?

Thanks to electronic health records and online portals, more and more patients have access to the notes their clinicians write about their health care visits. A study from one VA site offers insight into the potential for this feature, known as OpenNotes, to help—or hurt—patients' trust in their mental health clinicians.... (02/28/2017)

Chemical shows promise in subduing joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis

VA and Stanford University researchers have tested a chemical compound that works to prevent an initial phase of tissue inflammation and improve the immune system. They say it holds promise for those with rheumatoid arthritis, in particular.... (02/16/2017)

VA-Defense study aims to track mild TBI over decades

VA and Defense researchers are enrolling at least 1,100 service members and Veterans who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan to learn more about mild traumatic brain injury and how it can be best evaluated, and perhaps prevented and treated.... (02/09/2017)

An alternative theory on how aspirin may thwart cancer

Many studies have pointed to a role for aspirin in cancer prevention. Scientists have been unsure how the drug works in this regard, although they usually cite aspirin’s anti-inflammatory effect. New lab studies by VA researchers and colleagues point to a different mechanism at play. ... (02/07/2017)

Program aims to help those with diabetes fend off foot ulcers

Researchers at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System are seeking new ways to prevent the recurrence of foot ulcers in Veterans with diabetes. The problem is a leading cause of amputation... (02/07/2017)

Exploring the link between trauma and disordered eating for female Vets

A qualitative study involving a small group of female Veterans explored how military trauma that is related to such conditions as depression and PTSD can trigger disordered eating, a wide range of abnormal eating behaviors... (02/02/2017)

VA orthopedist hopes biologic disc will serve as cure for degenerative disease

VA researchers in Philadelphia are targeting degenerative disc disease with a lab-grown “biological disc” they say would act like a healthy, natural disc when transplanted into the body... (02/02/2017)

Light-based process could lead to new glaucoma treatments

In VA-funded work aimed at finding better treatments for glaucoma, researchers are using optogenetics, a new technique that relies on light to control the behavior of proteins or cells in living tissue. ... (01/19/2017)

Study finds wide, if uneven, use of PTSD psychotherapies in VA

A review of VA research studies has confirmed the widespread use in VA of two evidence-based psychotherapies to treat PTSD. But at the same time, the review points to inconsistencies in how the therapies are applied. ... (01/19/2017)

When non-adherence to guidelines is a good thing: Study on COPD yields surprising results

A study at the Northport VA Medical Center in Long Island, New York, offers a glimpse at what happens when doctors’ clinical intuition collides with the guidelines they are supposed to follow.... (01/19/2017)

Building a better denture

VA researchers are collaborating on a new antifungal denture that fights stomatitis, a recurring mouth infection that plagues denture wearers.... (01/11/2017)

Set total number of articles to view in this list: 30 | 60 | 120 | All 391 articles

Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.